When Dell builds its Alienware gaming desktop computers, it typically opts for Intel processors — but not this time. AMD’s huge strides in the processor market in recent years, accompanied by affordable prices, have made Ryzen processors excellent solutions for gaming. System builders have picked up on this as well, and AMD processors are appearing in many more laptops and desktop computers than they used to, including in the subject of today’s review, the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition.
Built with Dell’s new Alienware Aurora case, this system has a sleek and stylish look. RGB LED lights adorn the front of the case with Alienware written out in RGB LED lights on the side. Inside the case has a rather unique layout, with the PSU mounted on the left panel.
The base configuration is priced at $1,199.99 and comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor, an AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics processor and 8GB of RAM. Our sister site PCMag tested one with a significantly faster AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor for $3,629.99.
Upon inspection, the system’s internal components appear fairly plain and unimpressive. The motherboard, in particular, appears to have relatively few power phases, and the heatsinks used to cool the power regulation circuitry are rather small. The graphics card is also quite plain looking with a simple black enclosure, but the system PCMag reviewed did come with liquid cooling for the processor.
Benchmark results from pre-built systems need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but they can also be quite informative. PCMag tested the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition against four other computers. Most of the systems tested utilized an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The competing systems also all used Intel processors.
Tests performed using Cinebench R15 and Handbrake 1.1.1 showed the AMD equipped Aurora desktop with a large performance lead over all other systems.
When PCMag tested the Aurora with Photoshop CC, the AMD system fell into fourth place, but it was just a few seconds behind most of the competition.
The Aurora also performed well in 3DMark’s graphics tests. In both Sky Diver and Fire Strike, the AMD-based Aurora was way out in front of the Intel-based competition.
Unfortunately for Dell, and for AMD, this performance advantage wasn’t present when PCMag tested the system with real-world games. The Aurora’s Rise of the Tomb Raider test results were mixed, but the Far Cry 5 results showed the AMD system far behind all other systems at 1080p resolutions. It matched the Maingear Vybe when the resolution was increased to 2,560×1,440, but that system has a slower RTX 2080 graphics card, so these results weren’t really as impressive. The AMD system did best in 4K tests, but it still wasn’t able to beat the Velocity Micro Raptor Z55.
Looking at these test results, we can see the AMD Aurora Ryzen Edition is a decent system, but not a spectacular one. Its CPU performance is excellent. But remember, this is supposed to be a gaming computer, and its gaming performance is unremarkable.
Given the system’s high price tag, I’d recommend against purchasing the tested model of the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition. The lower-end models of this desktop are likely more practical in terms of price/performance, but after looking them over, they too feel overpriced. If you have the time and the know-how, I’d recommend building your own system, but if you aren’t up to doing this then I’d suggest looking into the competition.